Being uprooted from your home in the wilds of Tasmania and finding yourself in the ACT less than 24-hours later, would seem stressful enough, let alone doing it all under the glare of spotlights and cameras.
But a group of five eastern quolls took it all in their stride when they were released into Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary on Tuesday night, with one of the tiny spotted creatures even putting on a show for onlookers with some impressively athletic flips before it scurried off into the bush.
The five quolls were among 14 released into the sanctuary near Forde this week after at least an 80-year absence from the ACT.
ANU Fenner School of Environment Professor Adrian Manning said it was least 100 years since the quolls were common in the territory making the return of the small predator "very significant".
"They were running around Tasmania last night and now they're running around here ... we've deliberately taken them from different parts of Tasmania to build the most diverse population we can," he said.
The quolls will be monitored with radio collars as part of an ongoing experiment in the "outdoor laboratory" of Mulligans Flat to rebuild the area to a pre-European settlement woodland ecosystem with the gradual reintroduction of native species.
Eventually the lessons learnt will be applied elsewhere.
The nocturnal rabbit-sized mammals may look cute, but with teeth similar to dogs and cats the carnivores dine on insects, reptiles and other mammals including mice and rabbit kittens which ecologists say will make them the perfect warriors to help keep the sanctuary's problem rabbit population under control within the realm of the predator-proof electric fence.
"That's been one of the problems with rabbit control inside the sanctuary, there's no predators for rabbits," ACT government ecologist Tony Corrigan said.
"It's a really great experiment, a lot of people criticise it because they say 'what's the use, it's an artificial community' but it's an opportunity for us to learn a lot about how that ecosystem would have functioned prior to Europeans being here and that should give us us an idea of how we can move forward in conserving what we've got outside the sanctuary ... and how we then translocate some of these animals... into the wild."
With breeding season to start soon, researchers are hopeful there could soon be a boost to the number of quolls which only have a three-year lifespan.
The eastern quolls were once widespread across south-eastern Australia but were wiped out on the mainland in the early 1960s due to habitat-loss, introduced predators like foxes and cats, and diseases.
But the discovery of a NSW native in the Hunter Valley from as recently as 1989 was confirmed last week prompting scientists to investigate whether more eastern quolls, sometimes confused with the larger spotted-tailed or tiger quoll, remain in the wild on the Australian mainland.
If all goes well over the next two years, up to 32 eastern quolls from the wilds of Tasmania will be released into the sanctuary with 32 mates bred in captivity at Mount Rothwell in Victoria.
The quoll release follows the successful reintroduction of the rare eastern bettongs at Mulligans Flat in 2012 after the sanctuary was established in 2009.
Several curious bettongs were spotted watching their new neighbours settle in on Tuesday night.
The quoll release is part of a $1.8 million Australian Research Council biodiversity project in partnership with the ACT Government, the Australian National University, CSIRO and James Cook University.
The quolls and bettongs join the New Holland mouse and bush stone curlew which were released into the sanctuary and adjoining Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve in partnership with the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust.